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Confronted wife about excessive drinking.

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April 28, 2017

    I'm pretty sure I fucked this up. Had to break the first rule in confronting a loved one about drinking. We had a lot going on last night and she got a drink in before we talked. I was lamenting on whether to hold off on the convo because we have so much going on, but then came to the realization that it would never be the right time.

    After the kids were in bed, I asked her how I could help her cut back on her drinking. I told her that I was concerned about the amount and frequency. She replied, "the amount she had been drinking was starting to way on her mind." She said she does it to escape, another flag I know. I explained that I prefer her sober to drinking, she is a lot more pleasant to be around and she has more patience with the kids. Her reply was she would be more conscience of that.

    I really fucked up this next part, I said her needing a drink at 9am before our kids soccer game scares me, trying to point out the red flags. Instead of owning that its a huge deal, she just replied: "If it scares you, I won't do it anymore".

    I then proceeded to tell her that imho a lot of the issues she's been having lately could easily be attributed to her drinking. Lack of weight loss, anxiety, sleeping problems etc... The only one she would agree with was the weight loss.

    I asked again if there was anything I could do to help her, like me not drinking the 1 or 2 nights a week I do. She then went into a defensive spiel about not being able to ride horses anymore. How she doesn't have the time, money or resources. I asked about her taking a lesson once or twice a week just to be able to get on a horse. She said it's $50/lesson and we cannot afford it, which is total BS. I told her if $100/week is going to give her the outlet she needs to quit/cutback on drinking and improve her overall health then $100/week is a small price to pay. That's when her hamster went into overdrive with more excuses. I then realized I was trying to solve her problem.

    Every problem she brought up, I had a logical solution for, but as we already know, she doesn't want me to solve her problem. So I backed off and just said, "I don't want to be in your way, if you figure out something you want to do/try I don't want me or the kids to be your excuse not to do it. You tell me what you want to do and when and I will make sure it happens and left it at that. She said I wasn't in the way...

    Feeling like we were at a small crossroads, I just replied... "We will see how it goes". She then got defensive and asked "what does that mean". I told her I'm not going to judge you or tell you what to do. It just means that I've told you how I feel and we will see how it goes. She just looked at me like, how dare I put her in this situation or something. Then asked again, what does that mean. I got a little stern and replied, "It means I've told you that you get more defensive with me and less patient with the kids and if it doesn't get better then we will revisit the issue". She said ok.

    So maybe I should have set a boundary, maybe I should have put her on a drinking schedule? She doesn't like anyone telling her she can't do something and she clearly doesn't see this as a big problem yet. She was very quiet and distant both last night and this morning. I found it very hard to be affectionate, but did anyway. I wanted her to know that things would go right back to normal on my end. This morning she was avoiding me a little. I really wanted to just leave for work, but I went ahead, pinned her down and gave her a 10 second kiss and told her to have a good day. She shit tested about the kids seeing which I ignored. Then left.

    She doesn't know this, but I also talked with her father. He is a great sounding board and can keep his mouth shut, unlike her mother. I also did this because I wanted to tell him not to bring wine over anymore when they come to dinner. Usually she's already had vodka, then she will drink the wine and then more vodka after they leave. He agreed....

    We have an out of town wedding this weekend and as mentioned in my other post a week long vacation coming up in about 2 weeks. I know she is going to want to drink at both and I don't think she can have 1 or 2 and stop, especially in those situations. I guess ultimately its not my problem, I just need to do me, I can't fix her. My concern is I can't always tell when she's had a lot to drink. She doesn't slur or stumble, her mood definitely changes, but its been so long since I've known anything else I'm afraid I won't always recognize it. Right now I just look at the vodka bottle when I get home and then again when I go to bed to keep track of how much is really drinking.

    What are MRP thoughts on setting a boundary that she not discipline the kids after one drink? She really doesn't want to discipline them anyway and if she adhere's to it, maybe it will open her eyes to how much/often she is drinking?

Post Information
Title Confronted wife about excessive drinking.
Author mrpjourney
Upvotes 12
Comments 22
Date 28 April 2017 01:44 PM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/206227
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askMRP/comments/682ph1/confronted_wife_about_excessive_drinking/
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[–]atlhartRed Beret15 points16 points  (3 children) | Copy

You may not be ready to say this, but your wife is an alcoholic. She doesn't just drink a little too much...she's an alcoholic.

You cannot fix an alcoholic. You cannot control an alcoholic. You cannot convince an alcoholic. If your wife is to cut back drinking, she will have to own it.

You need to set boundaries related to you and the kids. "If you drink, you are not allowed to drive." "If you drink and are verbally abusive or shorter with the kids than when sober, you will need to leave their presence". Set boundaries with realistic consequences. And like someone said, don't set boundaries you can't or won't enforce, because that puts you on a worse situation then you are in now.

Edit: honestly, you're wife probably need to just quit drinking. I've never known an alcoholic(and I know many) that can bring it under control. They can never have just one, ever.

Your wife is an alcoholic. And with many alcoholics there's a underlying reason. "To escape" sounds like she's suffering from depression.

Your children will be negatively impacted by this woman if you do not protect them. Your focus is you and the kids. Your wife, on her own, needs to fall in line or you all need to leave her behind.

[–]mrpjourneyenabling fuck[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

I agree she does need to quit completely. I need to search myself and figure out what boundaries, if any, I can enforce. I'm glad I didn't try to set any last night before reading this. Thanks.

[–]DonaldBaelish1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

I need to search myself and figure out what boundaries, if any, I can enforce.

The lad just wrote you a few.

[–]mrpjourneyenabling fuck[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I know: She doesn't drink and drive that I know of. Its hard to tell when she is inebriated sometimes, so I don't know if I can always enforce a boundary with the kids. Plus I'm not always home... So I need to think about how I'm going to enforce said boundary if I set it. I don't want to set it and fail.

[–][deleted] 11 points12 points  (0 children) | Copy

IRL story:

I went off to college. This was during the softwood lumber dispute. Aparently cocaine had made its rounds through my town. My stepdad had started on crack at this time (I really feel the pain of the heroin epidemic among the rust belt)

I got home once, woken up by the horrible smell of it. How many people can say what the smell of crack is like? This was right around the time of my post on 'replacing our fathers'.

My mom has asthma. She was getting into it, said it made her asthma feel better. I've 'confronted it' once, and said very little. I was deceptely red pilled in my youth, as the amount of words I've used inversely correlated with how important the conversation was.

"I don't like this, you need to stop". I cant' remember the exact wording, but it took less than ten seconds, sitting in a 1989 Bronco, driving from somewhere random, starying ahead.

She quit that day. And not going to lie, I was ready to walk, that day. This is where a lot of this stuff clicked for me in here. A son will always have (whatever the equivalent of SMV) is with his mother. Even the BPD bitches. Regardless of her hamster, they don't leave a high value man, in this case, can't get much more valuable than her first born boy.

If you get value in this, good on you. If i see this in some hitpiece in the daily beast in 6 years, so be it. Moral of the story. I cannot change people, I can only be around to watch them kill themselves, the alternative is always preferable to me. That switch in your mind? That captain saveaho? turn that shit off, because right now, in these moments, is when your ability to be a fucking man matters.

Know what I find a man to be, above all else? The ability to be cold, and do what needs to be done. In this case, you are deciding to have a drunk take care of your children, or not. And you cannot be fucking around.

Want some dread? There's your fucking dread. She's already gone, she needs to sober, today, right now in order to claw her way back into her families life. every day you have accepted it is a day you've absolved your responsibility to your tribe.

Want to accept your failure and own your shit? There it is. Every day since you knew she was a fucking boozer until today. Every one of those days, you've been a fucking failure, and should be ashamed. But you are lucky, you can fix this. You started today, and need to follow through.

[–]NevrEndr9 points10 points  (0 children) | Copy

Having a drink at 9 am before a kids soccer game? Bruh that's straight alcoholism.

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (2 children) | Copy

You are such a nice guy! So nice and patient with your alcoholic wife. People probably line up to tell you what a great guy you are!

I read through all your hamster-ing. Yes your hamster. You are all over the place and not on message yet.

Until you believe she is an alcoholic, you are powerless, over YOURSELF, and completely powerless over your family.

Your co-dependent nice-nice behavior is just what she DOES NOT NEED. You are enabling her at every turn, and, you even think it sounds reasonable enough to post it here.

"A drinking schedule", damn, bro, what every alcoholic dreams of. A man that will not only tolerate, but pay for and schedule her drinks. Pick up the slack with the kids and everyone else for her. Even allow her family to bring more un-needed alcohol for her.

How can you ask her to stop drinking if you won't? Do you think you might be a little dense here? As long as you are stupid enough to drink, you are an obvious hypocrite and she knows it. Do you?

You "can't fix her" - bullshit. No you can't set a boundary, because you refuse to acknowledge the obvious.

Keep playing house with your little hottie. She must give a great BJ, or something for you to be willing to risk your kids and yourself around a woman that needs her first "pick me up" at 9AM, and that's is what you know of, she might be starting even earlier.

You talk to her father. Man, he is part of the enabling problem. Everyone has enabled her. Look at their behavior; not his, or yours or the rest of the family's words. Co-dependent enabler, not nice guy.

You're going to "keep track of what she is drinking". Brilliant. You will never know. NEVER. Her ability to deceive (everyone) is much greater than your ability to perceive it.

Get a clue and get some real help. This is a battle that so many bring a knife to a gun fight, then hold the gun for the drunk. Then make excuses for the drunk.

I could write you 10 mores pages of stuff, but OP....

That's all you get.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (1 child) | Copy

From your post 8 months ago:

I do everything now, I cook 95% of the meals in my home. I do 95% of the shopping in my home. I do about 60-70% of the laundry, dishes and other chores. It drives her crazy that I no longer just sit on the fucking couch and zone out to TV when there is shit to be done! She gets so antsy and nervous caught in my whirlwind of owning shit. She is starting to come around and do things without me asking her. She is also starting to ask for direction or how she can help. She comfort tests me constantly about what value she adds to my life besides a paycheck. She is worried I don't "need her", I just reply, "I don't need you, but I still want you"


[–]BobbyPeru1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy


That about sums it up

[–]alphabeta49Red Beret7 points8 points  (7 children) | Copy

I'm a drug and alcohol counselor.

And you're a fucking enabler.

The whole time she's saying "yeah it's starting to weigh on my mind" and "if it scares you I won't do it anymore" and excuses excuses excuses, she's buying time. SHE knows it's a problem, but she's not owning her shit. And you're not giving her that option.

The only way to fix an addict is to drop her on her ass and make her figure it out. Hard boundary. We're talking:

  • She can't watch or discipline the kids when she drinks

  • She can't spend money when she drinks

  • She can't be affectionate with you when she drinks

  • If she drinks, she moves out

Boundaries is where it's at for you. Any "help" you give will only serve to allow her to sluff her problems off on you, continue making excuses that you'll solve, and expect you to tolerate her "trying". Why are you giving her time to change? Do you actually believe she's going to?

The chance of an addict getting fixed with full support from their loved ones is virtually 0%. Things need to start hurting in order to inspire change. Think of it from your perspective here on MRP. You wouldn't have sought out the manosphere if you weren't unhappy and desiring change. Some sort of pain drove you to improve. Same with her. And you're protecting her from that pain. And it's easy to see why: you're scared of her emotions.

Why don't you just tell her, "You're drinking too much and it needs to stop"? Fear.

Good luck man.

PS If and when you set hard boundaries, expect it to get ugly. Get used to searching for hidden bottles, decoding her lies, paying for a therapist for her insecurity issues, hospital visits, 5150 calls, etc. You'll have the most stubborn, pouty, angry teenager in the house on your hands, and her bipolar, anxiety, and depression will shoot through the roof. Be sure you're up for the challenge before you dive in.

PS2 I perused your post history. Please start documenting her drinking, and any subsequent outbursts or episodes if you start enforcing boundaries. Not for divorce, but for your own protection.

[–]mrpjourneyenabling fuck[S] 1 point2 points  (6 children) | Copy

Thank you. I was afraid to tell her to stop drinking or else last night. My betaness was hoping that she could just cut back and we could glide along and I hamstered that we aren't to that point yet. I really DGAF if she's upset, so I need to figure out what I'm afraid of. Probably upsetting the overall balance of the household? Maybe that if she does spiral out of control without my support she may lose her job or make our home life hell or both? It's probably more the fear of the unknown.

[–]alphabeta49Red Beret4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy

Fear that she'll take the destructive path.

I have a younger brother who is experimenting with meth. He still lives at home at 18. He's fit, good looking, charming, and an asshole. Great red pill kid, but doesn't control himself. My parents should kick him out and force him to learn the lessons the hard way. But they won't, and they will continue providing for him, because if they do kick him out, he'll go live with the people he's partying with and end up 1) in jail, 2) in a gang, or 3) dead. The risk isn't worth it to them, so they choose (not consciously, they keep themselves oblivious for their own sanity) to live with the dysfunction instead.

That's why I said your wife would have to move out if she keeps drinking or stops and is a complete mental bitch. You will have to give her tough love and keep her at arm's distance until she proves to you that she can be a stable adult. Nothing else should suffice, no compromises, no early caving. You have to be willing to let her burn it all down and ruin her life and marriage if that's what it takes.

[–]mrpjourneyenabling fuck[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Fear that she'll take the destructive path

So much this along with everything else you've said. Thanks!

[–]alphabeta49Red Beret5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy

I'm available for more advice if you ever need it. I do this for a living, have had addictions myself, and have counseled lots of people informally (exaddictbro is one).

[–]mrpjourneyenabling fuck[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

After more reflection, I'm pissed! With MRP I've made great strides in making my marriage better and now i have this huge fucking wall in front of me that I don't want to climb because I don't know what's on the other side.

[–]Blunter-S-Thompson3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

I don't know what's on the other side.

A better, healthier and safer life for your kids?

[–]HelloImRIGHT2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Logic usually doesnt work on women.

Logic never works on an alcoholic.

Add those two together and try to solve the problem with logic? Impossible.

[–]rocknrollchuck1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

You have to set the example first by quitting drinking completely if there is to be any hope of her quitting.

[–]mrpjourneyenabling fuck[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

I have no problem with that. I only started drinking about a year ago on occasion to be more social. I've never needed to drink to have a good time. Also, lately I've noticed that when she's had a few drinks and thinking about another, she will offer to make me one so she feels better about having another.

    I see now that I need to quit NOW TODAY so that when I do enforce the boundary, it's already done. So as of right now, I no longer drink, not even on occasion. Again, this will not be hard for me...


[–]screechhaterRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Do NOT try to help her Lead her Stop drinking yourself

You are all over the place with your words, DEERing and emotions of shit exposure of your feelz Stop, as in dead stop

Lift and lift for the sake of your life depending on it.

Stop drinking yourself

Set some small attainable boundaries- and enforce them effectively. Choose to discuss and not fall into her frame, as in stick to the point

Read the sidebar books and focus in on Superior Male the engulfing feeling of you seeking her acknowledgement on every discussion, decision is cutting you off @ the knees and sending you back to square one each and every time

When you apply the information here and make changes for you and you alone, it will become certainly clear the the train coming down the foggy tunnel is a train and yes, that is a train, it's you and your frame. It's your train She can get on it or not. While present in your frame you will realize quickly it her choice, and her alone

The sooner you learn to hold your frame, set your standards and boundaries and learn not to waffle or fall into her frame, the sooner and easier this becomes Consistency is king

Looking at your situation from what you have wrote, when you enforce realistic boundaries, that are real to you and add value to your family, she will change to hop on board that train. If she does not you will be able to make the decisions that you need to make

[–]burningBluePills0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Don't set the boundary if you're unable to enforce it.

[–]bob13bob-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

Find a better sub for this, from people who dealt with potential alcoholism. Her doctor? Aa? Therapist?

Encourage her to get her horse time back, imo you want her to be happy.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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